Recently, we discussed how House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff stated publicly that the recently disclosed laptop information from Hunter Biden was clearly part of a Russian intelligence operation. Schiff said that “we know that this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.” This morning, John Ratcliffe, Director of National Intelligence, stated categorically that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not part of a Russian disinformation campaign. What is most notable is that Ratcliffe has stated that Schiff and his Committee have not been given any intelligence to support Schiff’s conclusion. The incident has raised lingering criticism of Schiff who previously told the public that he had clear evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia after that allegation was rejected in repeated investigations, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Schiff never produced the incriminating evidence and later it was shown that the widely cited Steele dossier was based on a source who was considered to be a Russian agent.
There is ample reason to suspicious about the timing of this disclosure. However, I have written that this serious concern is separate from the question of whether the emails are fabricated. The Biden campaign has not given the most obvious responses to such a scandal. It is important to keep in mind that Hillary Clinton and the DNC were actually hacked by Russian intelligence but the underlying emails were true.
Schiff now finds himself, again, in the position of supporting a claim of evidence of Russian collusion. He will have to show that this laptop discovery was engineered by Russian intelligence. If the owner is speaking the truth, the computer was dropped off in April 2019 with the intent to be used in the 2020 campaign.
Ratcliffe stated in an interview that
“it’s funny that some of the people that complained the most about intelligence being politicized are the ones politicizing intelligence and unfortunately in this case, it is Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who as you pointed out on Friday said that the intelligence community believes that Hunter Biden’s laptop and e-mails on it are part of some Russian disinformation campaign. Let me be clear, the intelligence community doesn’t believe that because there is no intelligence that supports and we shared no intelligence with chairman Schiff or any other member of Congress that Hunter Biden’s laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign. It’s simply not true.”
Ratcliffe accused Schiff of politicizing intelligence and stated “Don’t drag the intelligence community into this. Hunter Biden’s laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign and I think it’s clear the American people know that.”
Schiff should explain the basis for his conclusion that this is part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Someone is clearly misrepresenting the intelligence and the public should know the basis for these irreconcilable statements.